GW Softball Splits in NISC Opener
LYNCHBURG, Va. - Making its first postseason appearance, George Washington softball secured a 4-1 win over Marshall on Thursday afternoon to kick off the National Invitational Softball Championship Liberty Regional before dropping the nightcap to Kent State, 7-2.
The Colonials have a quick turnaround to face Appalachian State in an elimination game on Friday at 10 a.m. The winner of that one advances to face either Marshall or Rutgers at 7 p.m.
GW 4, Marshall 1: Sierra Lange put together a sensational all-around effort in the opener to make sure the Colonials won their postseason debut. The sophomore from Texas earned her 30th win of the season with a dazzling complete-game effort and also went 3-for-4 at the plate with an RBI.
In a pitcher's duel, GW (43-16) finally cracked Marshall starter Abigail Tolbert in a four-run fifth inning. The Colonials broke a scoreless deadlock by batting around on the strength of six hits.
Morgan Kummer delivered a pinch-hit single to kick off a run of seven straight Colonials reaching base.
The game's first run scored via a bases-loaded catcher's interference with Jessica Linquist at the plate, and then Jenna Cone, Lange and Priscilla Martinez followed with RBI singles to extend the lead to 4-0.
Lange ensured the Colonials stayed in front, allowing a run on six hits with seven strikeouts against Conference USA runner-up Marshall.
The Thundering Herd scored its run on a two-out RBI double in the sixth inning, but the GW ace came back to get an inning-ending pop out to strand two more in scoring position. She closed out the victory an inning later by inducing a line-drive double play.
Linquist's run scored in the fifth was her 65th of the season to tie the A-10 record.
Kent State 7, GW 2: The Golden Flashes totaled seven runs between the second and third innings and went on to claim the victory. Elena Shelepak led the Colonials in the second game, going 2-for-3 with a two-run double.
Kent State took the lead with four unearned runs in the second. The Golden Flashes produced three straight two-out hits, including Jen Cader's three-run home run, to make it 4-0.
Kent State added three more in the following frame, pushing the advantage to 7-0 on a long ball from Megan Turner.
GW got on the board in the fourth inning with Shelepak's two-out, two-run double. Her 10th double of the season brought home Cone and Martinez.
First-year Megan Osterhaus put together a strong relief outing for the Colonials, tossing 3 1/3 scoreless innings with a pair of strikeouts to finish the game.